Chapter

Forbidden Journeys to China and Beyond with the Odd Couple: Ella Maillart and Peter Fleming

Mulligan Maureen

in Asian Crossings

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9789622099142
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206632 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789622099142.003.0010
Forbidden Journeys to China and Beyond with the Odd Couple: Ella Maillart and Peter Fleming

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This chapter concentrates on two accounts of the same trans-Asian journey through China, India, and Tibet: Peter Fleming's News from Tartary (1936) and Ella Maillart's Forbidden Journey; from Peking to Kashmir (1937). Both accounts of the journeys combine familiar traditions: the remnants of nineteenth-century exploration in the adventure tale in forbidden lands; the attempt to explain the world in political terms and to question the nature of imperialism through journalism; and the post-romantic urge to examine the soul by seeking out exotic locations and rough terrain and turning these to a series of metaphors. In this final aspect, we see the greatest difference between the two writers, in that Maillart is clearly more interested in analyzing her interior life and convinced of its innate importance than is Fleming, a tendency that is to become more generalized in travel writing by women as the century advanced.

Keywords: Peter Fleming; Ella Maillart; News from Tartary; Forbidden Journey; China; India; Tibet

Chapter.  3603 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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